On Becoming a Church Ambassador
4th March 2019
The South England Conference (SEC) Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department (PARL) in association with the Advent Religio-Legal Perspective Ministry (Adventrlp) held a workshop at the Advent Centre for Religious Liberty leaders and members on Sunday 24th February 2019.
The purpose of the seminar was primarily to seek to raise awareness of the need and urgency for Seventh - day Adventist Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Leaders to become its 'Church Ambassadors.' The event marked a formal systematic training and equipping process to reach that end for dedicated members.
In his presentation on how to become a church ambassador, Adventrlp Director, Dr. Brighton Kavaloh explained the characteristics of those who are called to represent Christ in such a role. “An ambassador is one who represents a country or state and works with other representatives on a number of issues with the aim to bring about peace and reconciliation,” said Dr. Kavaloh. He added: “PARL resembles that of a country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry which focuses on three main areas: Diplomacy, Events and Communication.” Focusing on the cost of discipleship found in Luke 14:27-32, Dr. Kavaloh showed how Jesus was a strong advocate of the need for ambassadors in public life. “Jesus does not send His disciples (ambassadors) to cause war with others but rather to bring reconciliation and peace. Jesus also makes this clear in Matthew 5:19 where He says blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”
Dr. Kavaloh stressed the importance of Seventh-Day Adventists developing a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus to form the basis of a strong foundation upon which those called to the role of church ambassador can use to make a positive impact in public and religious affairs.
Following the presentation, Adventrlp assistants gave some practical tips to help those who have been called to a church ambassador role. Adventrlp Associate Director, Alex Nsimbi pointed out that ambassadors existed in Old Testament times. “Daniel was a great ambassador for God among many different people, nations and leaders,” he said. “Daniel’s humble spirit and strong prayer life were attributes which enabled God to use him to positively influence and effect change in the spiritual and political realms of Babylon and Medo-Persia respectively.”
Adventrlp Chief Liaison Officer, Sonia Monroe, encouraged church ambassadors to be creative in their presentations of issues which affect the church membership at large. “Have a clear mind, research with diligence and communicate the truth. Information is presented not to scare people but to make them aware of events going on at both national and international levels which concern our religious liberty."
Dr. Ray Allen, a Patron of Adventrlp added: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind ( 2nd Timothy 1:7). Therefore we can move forward in confidence knowing that God goes before us and will put the words in our mouth to speak to individuals of influence in order to bring about the change needed to safeguard our freedom of conscience and religious liberty.”
SEC President, Emmanuel Osei, thanked the team for highlighting the importance of religious liberty and ensured that support is available from the conference in response to the varied issues which come through political and legislative measures as potential challenges to the values Adventists seek to uphold in the safeguarding of religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
“Religious Liberty is an important department in the church which is given our full support at the conference and we are here to encourage members and leaders to be aware of the issues, their relation to the prophetic word and our response to them, guided through the Holy Spirit.”
With all that is going on in the world today, church ambassadors are surely needed to bring light to this dark and disillusioned world thereby offering the hope and freedom to be found in reconciliation to God through a relationship with Jesus Christ – a friend of sinners, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Photo credit: Theo Guthrie
[Darell J Philip]